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Eleanor vs. Ike    by Robin Gerber order for
Eleanor vs. Ike
by Robin Gerber
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2008 (2008)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Eleanor vs. Ike could not have come out at a more opportune time, with caucuses and primaries looming in the U.S. news and the nation facing a crucial election, inundated with candidates accusing each other of dirty dealings or not caring about the vital issues and whether or not religion should play a part in the constitution - and so on and so on.

Eleanor vs. Ike is a what if novel that's a breath of fresh air. What if Eleanor Roosevelt had been elected president with speaker of the house Sam Raeburn as vice president? It's quite a thought provoker. Much of the novel pulls from actual people and events - events that I am sure Gerber researched for her previous non-fiction book on Eleanor, Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way. The rest is pure speculation as to what might have happened if Eleanor Roosevelt had been nominated for the presidency.

How dare a woman think she could run for president? Who on earth would vote for her? Gerber addresses these reactions and more. Using this wonderful book to understand where the famous Eleanor was coming from, I met again in these pages - and marveled at - a person I have always respected. She didn't live an easy life. But she felt (as did the Queen Mum) that duty was a price one paid for living. She did her duty. And then some. Even without the fictionalized parts of this novel, Eleanor was a woman for the history books.

It's a delightful book easy to read and hard to put down. I remember the day Franklin Roosevelt died - the crying in the streets; the eulogies; the country and the world - looking to Truman to carry on in his place. Everyone wondered would he could he measure up to the job to be done? Don't miss Eleanor vs. Ike. And then sit back and speculate on what might have happened had Eleanor Roosevelt truly been elected. The world might be in much better shape than it is in now.

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